Africa – 4.3 million engineers needed for infrastructure development

(GBN) Infrastructure can help the economy and create growth in Africa. For e.g., transport infrastructure and services for intra-continental travel are key constraints limiting the growth of tourism in Africa.


Intra Africa travel is a challenge and hence there are increasing opportunities for infrastructure development on the continent. A report by PwC estimates that infrastructure spend in Africa would reach $180 billion per annum by 2025, up from $70 billion in 2014.


Investments in infrastructure projects such as ports, railways, roads and energy, across the African continent are in the pipeline.  To fulfil these infrastructure requirements for economic development, the continent also has to fill the gap for engineers.


Currently Africa has a gap of 4.3 million engineers if the continent was to implement its entire flagship projects, it needs 1.6 million agricultural scientists and researchers; has identified a gap of 2.8 million water and sanitation engineers. And this relates to the targeted needs identified for 2023 – the 10-year target for the first leg of Africa 2063.


Right now over 80 per cent of students are enrolling in social sciences and humanities and there needs to be a conscious effort to stem this trend and direct more students towards the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).


To achieve economic, political and social transformation, it will need critical skills and a change of mind-sets.  Africa needs to educate African youths in order to solve African problems.


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